Meet the SAFE Peer Educators

Meenu Ramasamy

Meenu RamasamyHi! My name is Meenu Ramasamy (she/her/hers) and I am a junior majoring in Finance/ Marketing. I am originally from the Bay Area in California. This is my second year in the SAFE program and my first year serving as the SAFE Peer Leader. I joined SAFE after being involved in sexual assault awareness work in high school. I wanted to continue that work after realizing that many people in college come from all different backgrounds and knowledge when it comes to the topics at hand. Especially as information on sexual assault and healthy sexuality changes rapidly with new statistics and information every year, it is on all of us to stay educated on the topic to make Pitt a safe and inclusive environment for all. 

Other than SAFE, I am also involved in CHAARG (a workout organization), Theta Phi Alpha (a social sorority), and am a UTA for the Freshmen Programs here on campus. Off-campus you can catch me working out, wiki-hopping, reading mystery novels, or spending time with my friends!

Yifan Xiang

Xifan XiangHi! My name is Yifan Xiang (She/her/hers) from Macau. This is my first year at Pitt and the SAFE peer educators program. I am currently in the Dietrich school as an undecided major and pursuing ASL and Global Health certificate and honors distinction with a hope of entering Rehabilitation Science in the future. Off-campus, I enjoyed reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. I got to know SAFE by listening to one of its sexual assault prevention lectures during welcome week and I fall in love with it instantly. I realized that I cannot ignore topics surrounding healthy relationships and the prevention of sexual assault. I cannot just sit here and listen but I should think, speak out, and spread awareness. Remember: these situations are not far from us, they are all around us and we need people to make a positive impact on others.

Maliha Tayeb

Maliha Tayeb

Hi! My name is Maliha Tayeb (she/her/hers) and I am a senior majoring in Molecular Biology and Sociology from Bear, Delaware. I joined SAFE in January 2021 to advocate, teach others, and educate myself about sexual violence prevention, survivor support, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention.

Outside of classes and SAFE, I am the Registration Chair for Dhirana (club that hosts an Indian classical dance competition), Programming Chair for Breakthrough at Pitt (organization that tutors middle/high school students), and a member of Phi Delta Epsilon (pre-medical fraternity on campus).

I really enjoy working with such a great group of passionate students in SAFE and I am excited for the continued impact we can make this year through workshops and outreach events!

Archisha

ArchishaHello! My name is Archisha (she/her) and I'm a junior (Class of 2023) from Schaumburg, Illinois. I am a Molecular Biology major with minors in Gender Studies and Sociology and earning the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine certificate and the Global Health certificate. On campus, I am involved with organizations such as Keep It Real and also work at a research lab. 

I have been a peer educator since my sophomore year and I'm excited to be able to continue doing this work for our campus. I joined SAFE as a way to impact the sexual climate of our campus. Experiences in high school and working on the RAINN (Rape, Assault, Incest National Network) helpline opened my eyes to the prevalence of sexual violence and I wanted to directly help one of my own communities. Through SAFE, I have learned much more about consent and healthy relationships and how to engage in conversations about topics such as these that may seem taboo but should never be. I hope to continue this work throughout my life so I can empower victims/survivors and positively impact our society's sexual climate. 

Natalie

NatalieHey! My name is Natalie (she/her/hers) and I am a junior as well as a Psych major also working on an English literature minor.  I'm from California but have been loving the last two years I've spent on the east coast! I just joined the SAFE program so I'm super excited to get started and make Pitt's campus an even better place! I decided to become a part of SAFE because I've always been passionate about women's rights and health and one of the most important intersections of those topics is sexual violence. There are so many young women on this campus, myself included, that deserve a safe environment not only for their academics but just to exist in.

Alexa Miller

Alexa Miller

Hello! My name is Alexa Miller (she/hers) and I am a junior majoring in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. I am also hoping to pursue a master’s in Public Health. I started as a peer educator through SAFE last year and have loved every minute of working with these lovely people. I am also a board member of the Planned Parenthood club here on campus and involved in PantherWELL. I love exploring the city, true crime podcasts, and trying out different cafes in my journey to find the best coffee in Pittsburgh.

I joined SAFE because I am passionate about educating myself and others on these important topics. I've always felt that peer education can have a large impact and I hope that through this program I can help ensure that sexual violence prevention and survivor support are high priorities on campus.

Abby

AbbyHi! My name is Abby (She/her) and I am a Sophomore from Washington, D.C. I’m a sociology major and considering a political science minor. Along with being a SAFE peer educator I am involved in the ACLU club at Pitt and am exploring other service clubs at the university. I joined SAFE my freshman year because I know how prevalent sexual violence is on college campuses and I wanted to be a part of positive change at my school. I hope to not only educate my peers on the importance of consent and healthy sexuality, but also to create a safe environment for all survivors on campus. Together we can begin to change the culture at Pitt in order to become a more welcoming and safe campus for everyone.

Kelisa Hysenbegasi

Kelisa HysenbegasiHi! My name is Kelisa Hysenbegasi (she/her/hers). I’m a psychology major with a Spanish minor. This is my first year being a SAFE peer educator and I’m excited to be able to help survivors by providing them with information about multiple resources that could help. I’m also excited to create a difference on campus and educate people on healthy relationships and consent. Off-campus I like to hang out with my friends, read books and I’m currently learning how to play the guitar! :)

Enny Ayo-Gbenjo

Enny Ayo-GbenjoHi! My name is Enny Ayo-Gbenjo (she/her) and I am from Laurel, MD. I am planning on majoring in Public Health or Rehabilitation Science. Along with being a SAFE Peer Educator, I am involved with the Pitt Dance Ensemble, Hearts Ablaze Dance Ministry, Pitt Pre-Medical Organization for Minority Students, and Leading Women of Tomorrow. This is my first year being a peer educator! I joined SAFE because I want to be a part of a community willing to bring an end to sexual violence on college campuses.

Alexa Pierce (she/her)

Alexa PierceMy name is Alexa Pierce (she/her/hers), and I am a junior double majoring in Political Science and Law, Criminal Justice, & Society. I am also working on obtaining a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. After undergrad, I’m looking to attend law school. My hometown is Erie, Pennsylvania—just 2 hours away from Pitt. 

On campus, I’m the President of the Planned Parenthood club and am a BRIDGES Peer Mentor. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking around Pittsburgh, hanging out with friends at cafes, and gardening.

I first discovered SAFE when they came to one of our Planned Parenthood meetings and presented to the membership. I immediately wanted to figure out how to get more involved. I am so excited to be a part of SAFE this year and look forward to learning more about how to make Pitt’s campus safer for students.

Aarushi Pant (they/them)

Aarushi PantHey! My name is Aarushi Pant (they/them) and I'm from Houston, Texas. I'm a sophomore here at Pitt and am still undecided about my major but am hoping to major in Computational Social Science with minors in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's studies as well as Neuroscience. Aside from being involved in SAFE, I'm also one of the founding members and Vice President of Philanthropy for Alpha Sigma Kappa, a sorority for women in STEM. 

When I'm not doing outreach or community work for the community organizations I founded, Women Inspiring Social Harmony (WISH) or spectrum, I'm usually watching TV, reading, writing, working out, or spending time with animals and nature! I'm looking forward to being a part of SAFE this year because I want to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses in a way that is as diverse, inclusive, and equitable as possible.

Alexa Walter (She/her)

Hi! My name is Alexa Walter, I'm originally from Cincinnati Ohio, I use she/her pronouns, and I am a junior at Pitt majoring in psychology on a pre-med track! This is my first year as a peer educator with SAFE, and I joined because sexual violence is a subject that has greatly affected my life, and I want to do everything I can to not only aid fellow survivors by sharing support resources, but also just by being a face on campus people know they can trust to listen and support them. I'm also really looking forward to the opportunity to educate others about what healthy relationships look like, and help our campus grow into a comfortable, safe environment for health, effective communication and a place for survivors to feel comfortable reaching out to others for help. 

Outside of SAFE and my academic life, I spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends, listening to music, going to concerts, and working on all kinds of art projects! I particularly like writing, painting, drawing (on paper and digitally) and sewing (which I've been doing for over 15 years)!

I'm very excited to work with the rest of the SAFE team to help make Pitt's campus a safer place. It makes me so happy to see a group of people so passionate about an issue that impacts so many people, oftentimes without anyone’s knowledge, and I’m hopeful that this dedication and drive will create a positive change in relationship culture on our campus and beyond!

Carolina Broekhuizen

Carolina BroekhuizenHi, my name is Carolina Broekhuizen (she/her/hers). I’m currently a junior and a social work major. This is my first year as a SAFE peer educator, and I am looking forward to working with my peers in sharing the importance of topics surrounding sexual assault and consent to ensure a safe and inclusive environment. In my free time, I love hanging out with my dog Freddie, taking road trips, and writing poetry!

Caroline Pizzella (she/her)

Caroline PizzellaHi everyone! My name is Caroline Pizzella (she/her/hers) and I am a Senior majoring in Nursing with a certificate in Global Health. I am from Beaver, PA and I’m glad to be close to home for school. I joined SAFE in Spring 2022 and so far I have absolutely loved doing workshops! I joined SAFE because I am really passionate about ending sexual violence, and SAFE is a great way to get involved with educating my peers on something I care so much about. In addition to SAFE, I am also a member of Chi Omega and MEDLIFE on campus. I also enjoy working as a PCT at Magee-Women’s Hospital, cooking, knitting, and spending time with my friends and family. I am hoping that through being a peer educator I can make a positive impact on the Pitt community. 

Ellie Hawkey (she/her)

Ellie Hawkey

I joined SAFE because I wanted to help spread awareness about sexual assault prevention on our campus. Through being a peer educator, I have learned more about being a better supporter of those around me. Being able to educate students on campus has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Pitt.

 

Josh Summers (he/him)

Josh SummersHey! My name's Josh (he/him/his), and I'm a sophomore Mechanical Engineer major. I'm involved in SAFE because I abhor sexual violence and I feel like the organization gives me a way to fight against it. The organization is very fun and equips you with important information on related topics, which you can use if you ever need to help a friend, stranger, or yourself. You also get to interact with other organizations on campus, and the creativity required and process involved in outreach is a lot of fun.

Other than being a member of SAFE, I'm in the Robotics and Automation Society, Emerging Business Issues club, and Badminton club! I love learning, especially anything in the social sciences. I also like vibing!

Rosslyn Scott (she/her)

Rosslyn ScottHello! My name is Rosslyn Scott (she/her/hers) and I am a junior from Severna Park, Maryland. I am majoring in nursing and minoring in social work with a certificate in global health. This is my first year in the SAFE program and I am so excited to get started with such a great group of people. I joined SAFE because I am passionate about advocating for others and want to educate myself and others on how to prevent sexual assault and relationship violence. I also want to work to make Pitt’s campus a safer environment and think teaching others and promoting conversation discussing sexual assault awareness and prevention will decrease the stigma around the topic of sexual assault. 

In my free time, I like to walk through Schenley Park, shop in Shadyside, and read out on Schenley Plaza.